Thursday Morning Artist Series
Parking Information: Click here
Complimentary Refreshments at 9:30 am
Kick-off the season with a FREE concert!
125th Anniversary Celebration
Ben Moore (b. 1960)
Dear Theo (2014) for tenor voice and piano
Based on letters of Vincent van Gogh to his brother Theo
Robin Griffeath, tenor
Bryon Wilson, piano
Gaetano Donizetti (1797 – 1848)
“Tornami a dir che m'ami” from Act III of Don Pasquale
Opera buffa in three acts
Kristin Griffeath, soprano
Robin Griffeath, tenor
Bryon Wilson, piano
Ludwig van Beethoven (1770 – 1827)
Sonata No. 21 in C major, Op. 53 "Waldstein"
Sarah Kang, piano
David Evan Thomas (b. 1958)
Give Her the River (Premiere)*
Poem by Michael Dennis Browne
Monica Murray, soprano
Mimi Tung, piano
Jennifer Kennard, flute
Daryl Carlson, cello
*From Give Her the River, Atheneum Books for Young Readers.
The music of David Evan Thomas has been praised for its eloquence, power and craft. A two-time McKnight Foundation Fellow, he has also received awards from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and the American Guild of Organists. Thomas has received commissions from the Minnesota Orchestra, the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, The Schubert Club and the American Composers Forum.
Thomas’s music is published by ECS, Augsburg Fortress and MorningStar, and has been performed by the Minnesota Orchestra, London’s Westminster Cathedral Choir and the trio of Gil Shaham, Truls Mørk and Yefim Bronfman. He has served as composer-in-residence with Westminster Presbyterian Church (Minneapolis), the Cathedral of Saint Paul, and from 1997-2005, The Schubert Club.
Born in Rochester, New York in 1958, David Evan Thomas graduated with honors from the “Prep” Department of the Eastman School of Music, and received degrees from Northwestern University, Eastman and the University of Minnesota. His teachers have included Dominick Argento, Samuel Adler and Alan Stout, with further study at the Aspen Festival and with David Diamond at the Atlantic Center for the Arts.
Thomas lives in Minneapolis, where he is also active as a program annotator, choral singer, pianist and conductor.
Michael Dennis Browne came to the United States in 1965 from England, where he was born, of mostly Irish ancestry, in 1940. After graduating from the University of Iowa, he taught at Iowa, Columbia, Bennington, and the University of Minnesota. He is now a professor emeritus at the University of Minnesota, where he taught for thirty-nine years, served a term as director of the creative writing program, and was a member of the Academy of Distinguished Teachers.
Browne’s poems have been published in many magazines and anthologies, and his awards include fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Bush Foundation, the Jerome Foundation, and the McKnight Foundation. Two of his collections have won the Minnesota Book Award for poetry. His most recent collection of poems, The Voices, was published by Carnegie Mellon in the 2016
As a librettist, he has written many texts for music, working for many years with composer Stephen Paulus. Their post-Holocaust oratorio, To Be Certain of the Dawn, was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize in music by the Minnesota Orchestra. Other composers he has worked with include John Foley S.J., Carolyn Jennings, Juliana Hall, Tim Takach and Craig Hella Johnson, with whom he recently collaborated on Considering Matthew Shepard.
He lives in Minneapolis and is married to Lisa McLean; their children are Peter, Mary, and Nellie.
Robin Griffeath, tenor, holds degrees from the University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory of Music and Dance (D.M. in vocal performance), the University of Arizona (M.M. in vocal performance), and Lawrence University (B.M. in vocal performance).
On stage Mr. Griffeath has performed roles including "Nemorino" in Donizetti's L'elisir d'amore, "Ferrando" in Mozart's Cosi fan tutte, "Fenton" in Verdi's Falstaff, and "Nanki Poo" in Gilbert and Sullivan's The Mikado. In recital, Dr. Griffeath has recently performed Hugo Wolf's Italienisches Liederbuch, selections from the composizioni da camera of Rossini, Donizetti, Bellini, and Verdi, Benjamin Britten's Michelangelo Sonnets, and Ben Moore's song cycle, Dear Theo.
He has sung with the Arizona Opera Chorus, North Star Opera Chorus, and the Arizona Choir. Mr. Griffeath's students have attended Luther College, the Tisch School of the Arts, and the University of North Texas. Robin currently serves as Assistant Professor of Voice at Southwestern Oklahoma State University.
Kristin Griffeath, soprano, holds degrees from the University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory of Music and Dance (D.M.A. in Voice Performance, M.M. in Musicology), the University of Arizona (M.M. in Voice Performance), and the Lawrence University Conservatory of Music (B.M. in Music Education with Voice as Primary Instrument, and Piano Performance). Favorite roles include "The Lady with a Hand Mirror" from Argento's Postcard from Morocco, "Dorine" from Mechem's Tartuffe, and "Miss Wordsworth" from Britten's Albert Herring. She has performed with the Tucson Masterworks Chorale, the Tucson Symphony Orchestra Chorus, and the Tucson Chamber Artists. Originally from Plymouth, Minnesota, Dr. Griffeath currently teaches as an associate professor for Southwestern Oklahoma State University in Weatherford, Oklahoma. Her continuing research into popular music of World War I prompted a collaboration on an exhibit for the National World War I Museum in Kansas City, Missouri, and she currently serves on the museum's Academic Advisory Board.
Sarah Kang began playing piano at the age of 4. Her mother was her first teacher. She received degrees in Piano Performance from the University of Minnesota and Indiana University Bloomington. She is a Suzuki Piano teacher at MacPhail School of Music in Minneapolis and also maintains a home studio. She finds particular joy in playing the music of Bach and Haydn.
Dr. Monica Murray received her Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Vocal Performance from the University of Minnesota. She also holds degrees from Indiana University Jacobs School of Music – Bloomington and St. Olaf College. Dr. Murray is an active performer in the Twin Cities, having served as a section leader with the Minnesota Chorale, a frequent recitalist for Thursday Musical, and as member of the Minnesota Opera Company Chorus. She has taught as a member of the music faculty at Concordia University, St. Paul since 1986 and currently serves as Chair of the Department of Music, Theatre and Dance. Dr. Murray also holds a Juris Doctor degree from William Mitchell College of Law and is a member of the Minnesota Bar.
A native of Hong Kong, Mimi Tung began piano studies at age 4. She earned her degree in piano performance from Santa Clara University and was awarded the Performer's Certificate for outstanding musical performance. Mimi has performed on the Thursday Musical Artist Series and at the Schubert Club Courtroom Concert series.
Adjunct Professor of Flute at Concordia University (SP) and the University of St. Catherine, Dr. Jennifer Kennard has performed with the Minnesota, Grand Rapids, and Lansing Symphony Orchestras and the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra. Dr. Kennard has performed and taught throughout New York and the Midwest, Alaska, and Australia. Her teachers include Richard Sherman, Ervin Monroe, and Ken Andrews.
Daryl Carlson, a Minneapolis native, began cello studies with Paul Thomas and Ruth Fischer. He went on to study with Tanya Remenikova at the University of Minnesota and with Sachiya Isomura and Mina Fisher. He is the founder of the Lake String Quartet, which has performed continually in and around the Twin City area since 1981.
He is an active teacher and maintains a studio of cello students. When not performing or teaching, he pursues a strong interest in the making and restoration of stringed instruments of all kinds.